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“I Have A Dream”

Jun 28

With apologies to one of my heroes, Martin Luther King Jr., I wish to “piggy-back” on his historical speech, and offer a message to you. I’m sure you will recall (that is, those of you who are old enough, or studied his life in school) his call for an end to racism in the USA, in August of 1963? I was a sophmore at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend Indiana and I recall from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the “March on Washington” he created the defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. I’m sure most of you are too young to remember however, he referred to the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and noted with emotion that “one hundred years later the Negro is still not free”. I recall it was Mahalia Jackson, the soulful gospel singer, who cried out from the throng of 250,000 or more people, “Tell them about the dream Martin!!” It was at this point that Reverend King departed from his prepared text and looked directly into the eyes of each member of the gathered throng and described to them his “dream” of freedom and equality arising from slavery and hatred.

With this single phrase Martin Luther King Jr. joined the likes of Jefferson, Lincoln, and the like who shaped a struggle that goes on today in modern America. Without lessening or misrepresenting the struggle for civil rights that goes on today in the USA, I want to impress upon you how critical your fight for recognition is. I’m sure that knowing you, in a very general sense as I do, based upon decades of working with you in a variety of roles from therapist to crisis management consultant has provided for me a certain “corporate knowledge” that many of my colleagues are in the process of gaining.

You may be aware that, based upon my belief that the “chief” psychologist in RCMP Health Services should be (or have been) a regular member, I engaged with the Force in the early 1980’s. I will admit I was promised nothing by the recruiting member other than a “we’ll see”. I was willing to gamble that if I showed them that a 42 year old psychologist could survive “basic training”, that he would have at least a “smidge” more experience and understanding than the average civilian who was occupying the position at present. Needless to say I was wrong!! I was posted to Red Deer Alberta (a lovely place I am sure) upon graduation, however, very soon after matriculating I returned to “E” Division and began lobbying for my original proposition. I soon learned that this would never happen, so I left the Force and returned to my private practice. ( I should mention that the RCMP ended up paying me more than twice what they would have paid me as a regular member “psychologist”).

Anyhoooo, what I am leading up to is that I have the same dream at the same time of the year ( the time when I decided to leave); and this is the time of the year. I began this year’s go-round in late May, and have had the dream almost nightly since that time. This is a benign topic, Mr. Paulson cannot rob you of your birthdate, nor can he kill you, one is impossible and the other unlawful. He is very busy at present dealing with his own problems, I have heard, and would have little time or moral leverage to come after you. So, I invite you to weigh in and help me. According to your “esteemed leader”, I need it!! (I’ll show you the A-TIPs I have accumulated sometime).

So the dream goes like this……in a kingdom far, far, away there lived a very powerful king who owed much of his ferocity and wisdom to his chief advisor an aging monk-like warrior. This highly valued sage was not only wise but respected for his thoughtful decisions and emotional balance. He had assisted the king in retaining his kingdom and had done so with minimal loss of life.

No matter all of this, there was a group of “Young Turks” who were impatient to have the mantle of advisor to the king, placed upon the shoulders of one of their much younger confreres. These young impulsive warriors saw themselves as more daring, courageous, and adventurous than the old advisor. They believed that the king could be more powerful and feared by his enemies than he was; and that the kingdom could be larger and richer, if the king would only attack and conquer his neighbours. They were impatient and believed that the old sage/warrior had lost his “edge”, and worse was holding back the progress of the Empire.

The “Young Turks” met and devised a plan; a plan designed to discredit the king’s aging and trusted advisor. They decided that they would arrange a feast day to celebrate the king’s wisdom and success; they would invite everyone in the kingdom to attend. And at this great gathering they would have a way of embarrassing the king’s long time advisor and cause the king to question his friend’s competence.

The “Young Turks” finalized a strategy that would demonstrate to all in attendance that the aging warrior has lost his “edge”. It was agreed that the one who is most likely to succeed the old sage, would approach him with a small mouse in hand, and behind his back. He will ask the wise advisor, “I am holding a mouse behind my back. You are believed to be wise. Can you tell me, if in this moment it in fact lives, or has it died?” The group of knights, in waiting, believed that they were now able to trap the King’s long-time advisor in a game he couldn’t win; for if he said “it lives” the animal could easily and quietly be crushed, if he said “it’s dead” the mouse could easily be placed upon the floor to “scramble” away.

On the day the “Young Turks” obtained a small mouse, and attended the long-planned celebration. At some point during the day the instigator stepped forward and approached the old warrior. A strained quiet fell over the crowd. They listened as the younger man approached the older, and asked “Sir, I have a mouse in my hand and behind my back. Since you are thought to be so wise, I wonder if you can tell me if it lives or if it has expired? The entire gathered throng fell silent as they realized the gravity of the challenge. They recognized that if the old warrior/sage failed to answer correctly he would have confirmed what the “Young Turks” were saying about him.

Everyone present, absent any breathing, waited for the old warrior to answer. Deliberately and with a smile spreading across his face, he approached the young challenger. He gazed warmly at the younger man, as if to take his measure for a prolonged moment. Others in the crowd, sensing the gravity of the situation, became restless, and wondered if at last the wise old warrior had met his match? The crowd fell silent as the old man found the youth of his voice and enquired, “Why would you ask me such a question young man…..THE ANSWER IS IN YOUR HANDS?

So? What do you think? Please don’t let anyone rob you of your right to think! What does this dream mean to you? Who are these people? Which one is you? Is one of them me? Which character is representing your “esteemed leader”? Who are the “”Young Turks”? Both in the dream and in real life? Who does the mouse represent? What does the mouse represent? Remember you cannot be wrong. It is YOUR interpretation. There is little to no science behind the interpretation of dreams. You have a free hand and it is all within the realm of consideration.

Most importantly don’t allow yourself to be “cowed” into silence!

“If a prisoner wants to free his companions, he must first break free of his own chains”

Dr. Mike Webster
Reg’d Psych.
#0655

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3 Comments
  1. Scottish Soldier permalink

    Aye Dr. Webster, one of the finest pieces of writing seen in a long, long time!

  2. Interesting Proverb, how easy it is for the wicked to sneak in, deceive and take over, it was not so in heaven. I guess you could say we don’t fight flesh & blood but principalities and powers and wickedness in high places… in the spirit and natural realm.

    I would say the mouse was caught in a power struggle between the King and the wickness of the times and the wise man recognised his own faith rested in the hands of the wicked not in the Kings ability to decern right from wrong.

    Former Shediac Mouse

  3. I read so many opinions and actually labored my nerves
    as much as the purpose I nearly wanted to cancel my appointment.

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